In the year UC 0123, Years after the completion of the Federations Frontier Side Initiative intended to be an answer to the growing population, A new threat emerges in the form of a faction calling themselves “Cosmo Babylonia”. Intent on forming their own empire, they deploy the forces of The Crossbone Vanguard to conquer and invade the Frontier Side. The unprepared Federation Forces are no match for them and quickly retreat. On the Colony Frontier IV, Seabook Arno and his friends are caught in one of these attacks, witnessing the loss of life and destruction around them. After their friend Cecily Fairchild is captured by members of the Crossbone Vanguard that claim she is the lost heir to the Ronah Family, Seabook and his friends escape on the Federation Ship Space Ark.
Little does Seabook know at the time, Space Ark is transporting an experimental Federation Mobile Suit designed by his own mother, the F91 Gundam. Forced to pilot this highly advanced Mobile Suit, will Seabook be able to stop the Crossbone Vanguard and thwart the efforts of Cosmo Babylonia? Will he be able to defeat the ace pilot and military director of the Crossbone Vanguard, Carazzo “Iron Mask” Ronah? And will he be able to fight Cecily, now calling her Berah Ronah? All this is answered in the fast-paced movie, Mobile Suit Gundam F91!!
So there is not a lot to say about this movie, but I will say as much as I can. First, in terms of significance, Mobile Suit Gundam F91 is the first addition to the UC that took place in years far separated from the One Year War. It takes place 30 Years after the events of Char’s Counter Attack, which at this time had been the latest date written into the UC timeline up until the release of F91. In this series the Mobile suits are described as smaller than the previous suits of the Universal Century, this in-universe explanation was a marketing pretext for Bandai to make smaller model kits to reduce costs. However the cost of making smaller joint pieces and tools to paint the models, Bandai abandoned this strategy and returned the mobile suits as well as the model kits to normal size by the release of Turn A Gundam.
Gundam F91 also introduced a new antagonist in the form of the aggressive and totalitarian Cosmo Babylonia Empire. The Gundam Wiki describes Cosmo Babylonia as being “dedicated to the principles of aristocracy and noblesse oblige“, and it is noticeable they decide to honour the Babylonian Empire in their name and the imagery of their flag. Their fighting force, The Crossbone Vanguard, would go on to take the focal role in a Manga known as “Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam” which spans the years between the events of Gundam F91 and Mobile Suit Victory Gundam. It was hinted at the end of the Gundam F91 Movie that they would return with some material serving as a prequel or sequel, but such a project never came to fruition. The idea of a Crossbone Gundam Anime, however, has been popular with fans for a couple of decades now however so it is not impossible that the promise of the film will be filled in that manner one day.
As it was, I found Gundam F91 left a lot to be desired, and that “a lot” was more. It was a pretty good addition to the UC timeline (they usually all are, to be honest), but it was so brief and deserved more elaboration. A movie was just not enough to satisfy what F91 introduced us to in expanding the UC Timeline. Luckily, the film is easily obtained on Blueray from Amazon. You can get it here, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.